Chicago Bulls: Michael Jordan's 10 Best Teammates
Even the great Michael Jordan needed some help to win championships. You can just see him to the left of Scottie Pippen in the picture. The question with Michael is, who were the best teammates he played with?
I looked it up, and Michael played with a total of 44 different players for at least one season during the Championship winning years. There will always be different ideas of who was the most important, but here is one interpretation of the 10 best players MJ ever played with.
10 and 9. Stacey King
Yep, he is that important—Stacey deserves the spot of 10 and 9.
Stacey King is without a doubt one of the most important players MJ ever played with. I mean, who else could have kept MJ in good spirits before the game by asking "I wanna go higher."
I wonder if Stacey called Michael Jordan "Big Sexy," too.
8. Charles Oakley
Okay, before you jump all over my back, that last slide was a joke. This slide, though, is accurate.
Oakley did not play for the Bulls during their many championship years and was never an all-time great player. As Stacey King (last slide) would say, "he went to work with his hard hat on." Meaning, he did his job and played well, but never did anything that would make you say "wow."
But I think Oakley does deserve a spot on this list. Since we are talking about MJ's 10 best teammates, I'm taking that to mean a combination with some of the best players he played with, and his favorite guys he played with.
MJ and Oakley have always been known to be very close friends, and I think MJ would agree that Oakley was definitely one of his favorite teammates. So while he might not be as high scoring as the people soon to follow, he definitely deserves a spot on this list.
7. Toni Kukoc
While not the highest scoring Bull during the second three-peat of MJ's career, Kukoc definitely was an important player. A very big SF at 6'11'', Kukoc could score and contribute by taking a little pressure off MJ.
Kukoc was also a good three-point shooter, at times. During the '95 and '96 season, Kukoc was a 40 percent shooter from downtown and could stretch the court for MJ, leaving room for His Airness and the true King of Basketball (sorry LeBron) to do what he did best.
6. BJ Armstrong
While more known today for being the agent to the one and only Derrick Rose, BJ was one of the more solid players during the first three-peat. I've always thought he was a little under appreciated for what he did.
While not amazing at any one thing, BJ did a little bit of everything. An above average three-point shooter, BJ took the shots he got, and made most of them. He rebounded a little, but mostly made his living just handing the ball off the MJ.
5. John Paxson
A longtime NBA player who specialized in one thing—and one thing only—he played a huge role in sealing the first three-peat for MJ. The Kyle Korver of the first three-peat, Paxson made his living off waiting for defenses to collapse around MJ, and then nailing the three.
His numbers were never fantastic, but if MJ himself was making this list, the guy who made the winning shot to seal the first three-peat has to be on it somewhere.
4. Horace Grant
Every winning team needs some sort of a big man threat in the post, and that is exactly what Horace Grant was during the first three-peat. A high draft pick, his emergence led to the trade of Charles Oakley, something MJ wasn't too happy with at the time.
He couldn't have been too upset, as Grant managed to score decent numbers, rebound and block a couple shots a game. What more could the greatest player in the game want out of a big man?
3. Dennis Rodman
The Worm finds his way onto this list—how could he not?
A longtime member of the "Bad Boys" Piston's team, Rodman somehow found his way to Chicago to play alongside MJ. He brought with him some crazy hair, and a personality to match, but he also helped bring MJ three more championships as well.
2. Scottie Pippen
Upset, right? It seemed as if Scottie was a lock for No. 1 the entire way through. In the end, he comes in at No. 1 on this list.
Scottie was probably the absolute perfect player to play alongside MJ, and huge credits to the Bulls organization for drafting him. Without Scottie, the Bulls might not have won all six championships. It's very telling that the only player on all six championship teams, besides MJ, is Scottie.
With Scottie, the Bulls and MJ had one of the greatest, if not the greatest, defenders in the history of the game. Alongside another phenomenal defender in MJ, the Bulls had a defensive tandem that was hard to stop.
Scottie was never the scorer that MJ was, but then again, no one will ever be. But Scottie could still score at a reasonable clip, which only made MJ's life easier.
So, great defense, good offense, and the only teammate MJ had for all six championships. How is he not No. 1?
1. The Dream Team
Granted, the Dream Team is not exactly a single teammate. And Scottie Pippen is technically still No. 1 on this list, as he was a member of the Dream Team.
Even though this is a team and not just a single player, it had to be No. 1. The strongest team ever assembled in any sport, MJ played with some of the greatest ever en route to an Olympic Gold.
Just look at some of his teammates: Magic, Scottie, the Admiral, Stockton, the Mailman. The list goes on and on.
So all in all, MJ played with some great players with the Bulls, but if you asked him the time when he played with the best, the answer has to be the Dream Team.